Thursday, June 24, 2010

The time has come

Cow 'harvest' tomorrow. Not sure if I'll be able to watch the entire process...or have to peak through my fingers like watching a scary movie...or maybe just become vegetarian after this.

For tonight the five largest cows are happily sorted from the rest, and eating up lots of grass and hay in a pen for their last meal under the starry night sky. I haven't gotten close to the cows in the past few weeks, just because work in the garden has been so busy that others have tended to the cattle. But there are definitely a couple cows in this bunch that we've bonded with, just because they look more unique from the rest of the herd.

None of us interns need to be there for this harvest, but we all feel that it is important to see our food from start to finish. We've seen these cows frolicking in the pastures...eating happily...staying healthy...loving life. I think they've lived life to the fullest!

Here are some photos of sorting cows this afternoon:

Sara waiting to let the small ones out of the pen.

Michael directing cow traffic.

Kate watching with a heavy heart.

Monday, June 14, 2010

seeds of our past

Apologies for those of you who have been holding your breath waiting for a new post! :) It's been a crazy busy couple weeks and oh so much fun! Yes, LOTS more weeding and transplanting that wasn't much to write home about anyway...but outside of the farm I put some miles on my bike, learned how to change a tire (after a couple flats nearly left me stranded :), have met a lot of great people, and I saw my first show at Red Rocks! Tom Petty just happened to be playing on my birthday and I got to spend some time with family. My dad was in town too, so I was able to show him around the farm and hear stories about the family farm. I found out that we used to have a milking cow and would make our own butter. Sure, buying it at the store today is much more efficient, but what an amazing accomplishment to be able to make that and truly appreciate the results!

Our seed saving class this week went from complicated to emotional. We learned the difference between heirlooms, hybrids, F1, open pollinated, and modern plants. I still don't completely understand them all (I never aced biology!), but I did learn a very important lesson: It is our obligation to pass along our family stories and cultures by continuing to buy and eat plant and animal varieties that our ancestors brought over to this country. We should support organic seed companies that offer many unique varieties. Otherwise these varieties and old world cultures will fade out like endangered species. Most gardening seeds actually come from Monsanto and we don't want to support their GMO seeds...check out this overwhelming diagram of Monsanto's umbrella. Although Europeans can save seeds, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are the only places where we have the freedom to buy seeds and grow for ourselves. And who's to say how long that will last if GMO seeds run the world. Doesn't that seem scary?

So if you're going to buy seeds, check out some independent places like these next time. Try some green and purple cauliflower or any crazy heirlooms!!
Baker Creek (
Wild Garden Seed (
Fedco (
Seeds of Change (
Seed Savers Exchange (
Turtle Tree Biodynamic See Initiative (
Abbondanza (